American Express Cash Magnet® Card
vs. Bank of America® Unlimited Cash Rewards Credit Card

Updated: July 17, 2024

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Both the American Express Cash Magnet® Card and the Bank of America® Unlimited Cash Rewards cards offer appealing cash back rewards and no annual fees. The BofA Unlimited Cash edges out slightly with a higher cash back score.

However, the Amex Cash Magnet's 0% introductory APR for 15 months and additional benefits like car rental loss and damage insurance make it a strong contender.

While neither is a co-branded or store card, the Amex Cash Magnet may not be as widely accepted as the Visa-branded BofA Unlimited Cash card. Consider the Amex Cash Magnet if you value the added perks it offers.

Credit Card logo for American Express Cash Magnet® Card
American Express Cash Magnet® Card
Credit Card logo for Bank of America® Unlimited Cash Rewards Credit Card
Bank of America® Unlimited Cash Rewards Credit Card
MoneyGeek Rating
3.8/ of 5
MoneyGeek Rating
3.8/ of 5

  • Regular APR
    19.24%–29.99% variable
    19.24%–29.24% variable
    0% APR Offer
    0% introductory APR for the first 15 months
    0% for 15 billing cycles on purchases
    Intro Offer
    $150 statement credit
    Earn $200 cash back
    Rewards Summary
    Unlimited 1.5% cash back on your purchases
    Earn 1.5% cash back
    Balance Transfer Offer
    0% introductory APR for the first 15 months
    0% for 15 billing cycles on balance transfers
    Balance Transfer Fee
    Either $5 or 3% of the amount of each transfer, whichever is greater
    3% for the first 60 days, then 4%
    Annual Fee
    $0
    $0
    Recommended Credit
    670–850 (Good to Excellent)
    670–850 (Good to Excellent)
    Penalty APR
    29.99%
    Up to 29.99% variable APR
    Not sure?

Which Card Is Better for You?

You might prefer the Amex Cash Magnet if you're looking for a card that gives you flexibility in paying off large purchases over time without interest. The Plan It® feature allows for fixed monthly payments on purchases of $100 or more. Additionally, the Global Assist® Hotline and car rental loss and damage insurance can be valuable perks if you travel.

You might prefer the BofA Unlimited Cash if you want to earn a welcome bonus with a lower spending threshold. The $200 cash back requires only $1,000 in purchases within the first 90 days. If you're a Bank of America customer, particularly a Preferred Rewards member, you can benefit from additional cash back, making this card more rewarding for your loyalty.

Head-to-Head Comparison: Card Details and Features

Evaluating APRs, fees, credit requirements, rewards and other features will clarify the subtle yet impactful differences between the Amex Cash Magnet and BofA Unlimited Cash. Discern which card aligns with your spending patterns and financial objectives, whether you value lower balance transfer fees or wider card acceptance.

    discount icon

    Regular APR: BofA Unlimited Cash

    The BofA Unlimited Cash offers a lower regular APR range from 18.24% to 28.24% variable, compared to the Amex Cash Magnet card's APR range of 19.24% to 29.99%. This makes the BofA Unlimited Cash card a better option for those concerned with interest rates.

    annualFee icon

    Annual Fee: Tie

    Both the Amex Cash Magnet and the BofA Unlimited Cash have no annual fee, making them equally appealing for those looking to avoid extra costs.

    lowInterestAPR icon

    Introductory 0% APRs: Amex Cash Magnet

    Both cards offer a 0% introductory APR on purchases and balance transfers for 15 months, making them equally attractive for those looking to make a large purchase or transfer balances. However, the Amex Cash Magnet edges out slightly with a consistently lower balance transfer fee of 3% than BofA Unlimited Cash, which increases to 4% after the first 60 days.

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    Rewards: Tie

    Both the Amex Cash Magnet and the BofA Unlimited Cash offer unlimited 1.5% cash back on all purchases, with no expiration on rewards as long as the account remains open. Redemption options include statement credits, with additional options for merchandise or gift cards for Amex Cash Magnet and direct deposit or credit to eligible Merrill accounts for BofA Unlimited Cash. Given their similar rewards rates and flexibility in redemption, the choice between these cards comes down to personal preference for redemption options.

    rewards icon

    Welcome Offers: BofA Unlimited Cash

    The BofA Unlimited Cash offers a better welcome bonus, providing a $200 cash back for a similar spending requirement compared to the Amex Cash Magnet's $150 statement credit. With a higher introductory offer return on investment, the BofA Unlimited Cash delivers greater initial value.

    creditApproved icon

    Recommended Credit Score: Tie

    Both the Amex Cash Magnet and the BofA Unlimited Cash require a credit score range of 670 to 850, categorized as good to excellent. This makes them equally accessible to individuals within this credit score range.

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    Penalties and Fees: Tie

    Both the Amex Cash Magnet and the BofA Unlimited Cash have similar penalties and fees, with late fees of up to $40 and variable penalty APRs of up to 29.99%. The Amex Cash Magnet has a slightly lower foreign transaction fee at 2.7%, compared to BofA Unlimited Cash's 3%. Cash advance fees also differ slightly, with Amex charging either $10 or 5% and BofA charging 3% of the transaction.

    points icon

    Issuer Satisfaction: Amex Cash Magnet

    When it comes to issuer satisfaction, the Cash Magnet's issuer, American Express, leads with a rating of 5.0. Bank of America, which issues the Unlimited Cash card, has a rating of 4.5.

    airplane icon

    Other Features & Perks: Tie

    Both cards offer unique perks. The Amex Cash Magnet provides the Plan It® feature, Global Assist® Hotline, car rental loss and damage insurance and exclusive Amex Offers. Meanwhile, the BofA Unlimited Cash card offers contactless payments. Choosing between the cards depends on your preference for travel support and flexible payments vs. convenience.

Rewards Comparison

Both the Amex Cash Magnet and the BofA Unlimited Cash cards offer a flat 1.5% cash back on all purchases. This simplicity is ideal for those who prefer a no-fuss rewards program without having to track spending categories.

While the rewards rate is the same, the Amex Cash Magnet's acceptance might be slightly lower internationally than the Visa network backing the BofA Unlimited Cash card. For Bank of America customers, the BofA Unlimited Cash card may edge out slightly ahead, especially for those enrolled in the Preferred Rewards program, which can increase the cash back rate.

The table below outlines bonus categories to help you compare the rewards programs of both cards at a glance.

Category
Amex Cash Magnet
BofA Unlimited Cash

All Purchases

Unlimited 1.5% Cash Back

Unlimited 1.5% Cash Back

Redeeming Rewards

The Amex Cash Magnet offers flexibility, allowing you to redeem your cash back for statement credits, merchandise or gift cards. You have the assurance that your cash back never expires.

The BofA Unlimited Cash also provides straightforward redemption options, including direct deposit, credit to eligible Merrill accounts and statement credits. Rewards remain valid as long as your account is open.

Methodology

MoneyGeek evaluates credit cards like the Amex Cash Magnet and the BofA Unlimited Cash for various use cases. Both cards scored the highest in the cash back category.

The scoring reflects the card's performance in areas such as the value of rewards and the benefits of introductory offers. The largest factors in the cash back score are the effective reward rate and the return on investment for offers. For a detailed understanding of our scoring process, you can review our ranking methodology.

FAQ: Amex Cash Magnet vs. BofA Unlimited Cash

What are the annual fees for the Amex Cash Magnet and the BofA Unlimited Cash cards?
How do the introductory APR offers compare between the two cards?
Can I earn a welcome bonus with either card?
Are there any additional perks with the Amex Cash Magnet card?
Does the BofA Unlimited Cash offer benefits for Preferred Rewards members?

For rates and fees of the American Express Cash Magnet® Card, please click here.

About Doug Milnes, CFA


Doug Milnes, CFA headshot

Doug Milnes is a CFA charter holder with over 10 years of experience in corporate finance and the Head of Credit Cards at MoneyGeek. Formerly, he performed valuations for Duff and Phelps and financial planning and analysis for various companies. His analysis has been cited by U.S. News and World Report, The Hill, the Los Angeles Times, The New York Times and many other outlets.

Milnes holds a master’s degree in data science from Northwestern University. He geeks out on helping people feel on top of their credit card use, from managing debt to optimizing rewards.


*Rates, fees or bonuses may vary or include specific stipulations. The content on this page is accurate as of the posting/last updated date; however, some of the offers mentioned may have expired. We recommend visiting the card issuer’s website for the most up-to-date information available.
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